Is your toddler ready to learn reading? Perhaps this is a question that has been floating in your mind lately.
I started teaching my toddler son Kaden to read when he was 2 years and 3 months old. He’s one month away from turning 3 years old now. He can read simple words, short sentences, and we’re a few lessons away from completing his reading program.
How did I determine the perfect timing to start my son on a reading program? I would say, there’s no perfect timing. Instead, I paid attention.
Follow Your Toddler’s Lead and Interests
Firstly, I followed my son’s lead and interests. When he was about a year old, I began to notice that he had an interest in numbers, so I bought a simple baby board book on numbers for him. The book captivated him. Soon, he learned his numbers even when he couldn’t really speak yet.
At 14 months, he pronounced all numbers as “3”. A month later, he could recognize numbers 1-6. When he was 21 months old, he could use his daddy’s handphone and key in numbers from 1-9 in the correct order.
From numbers, he began to develop an interest in the alphabet. At 23 months old, he could recognized the 26 letters. When he was 2 years and 2 months old, for the first time my friend and I saw him arranged his alphabet blocks in their alphabetical order. He loved playing with his magnetic letters a lot. Somehow, he was fascinated by numbers and letters.
I would say it’s important to stay alert to your child’s interests and help nurture his interests.
Does Your Toddler Sit and Listen When You Read to Him?
Secondly, I noticed that Kaden listened when I read books to him, starting from when he was less than a year old. He would even choose books for me to read to him when he was a toddler. When he was 2 years and older, he would also pretend to read by flipping through his books, and staring intently at the pictures.
Recently, one of my girlfriends asked me if I read to my son and if my son would listen, and I replied yes. Her son is 11 months younger than Kaden and he is 2 years old now.
She shared that she has attempted reading to her son on many occasions, but he just doesn’t have the patience to sit and listen to her. He would turn to the last page of the book and tell his mommy, “Finish!” She was exasperated!
Different Children Unfold At Different Pace
I’ve read articles and agreed that different children will develop and unfold in different areas at their own pace. A child who is advanced in language usually might not necessarily be advanced on the socio-emotional front. While other kids might thrive on their physical abilities while not being advanced in their language and speech development.
I witnessed that personally last month when I brought Kaden to an indoor themed playground.
There was this piece of equipment that involves revolving circular bars that kids can climb onto, stand on them or cling to them for dear life as the circular bars turn round and round. Kaden wasn’t interested or perhaps wasn’t even physically apt to play it.
Along came a boy with a pacifier in his mouth, and he looked visibly younger than Kaden. Probably around 2 years old, and he didn’t seem to be speaking yet. Next thing I knew, he confidently held onto the rotating circular bars and stood on them!
So yeah, even if Kaden knows his alphabet and numbers, his physical abilities need more exposure and polishing up. :)
Pay Attention to Your Toddler’s Reading Readiness
If your toddler or preschooler exhibits signs that she is ready to learn reading, it would be easier to ease her into a reading program.
But if her interests lie in elsewhere and she’s not interested in reading presently, perhaps you can try again later. Nurture her interests and let her develop a love of learning first. Reading can come later, when she is more ready.
Do you have a comment after reading the above? Share your comment with me and I’d love to connect with you!